Josue Louis envisioned himself walking into the Opening Ceremonies of the Olympics later this month as a member of the Haiti track and field team, a dream accomplished and a family back home beaming with pride.

All he needed was an all-around good performance in the decathlon during the qualifying stage to etch his name onto the roster.

But on the second day of the two-day event, the former Ramapo High School track athlete and football player missed a height that he needed to hit in the pole vault, ending his chance of being in London. Almost immediately, the 25-year-old Louis, a Spring Valley native, redirected his attention away from England and toward Brazil, eying a spot on the 2016 team in Rio de Janeiro.

“I am extremely humbled and always have been. But the feeling I felt getting so close to qualifying and yet falling short is a feeling I never want to feel again,” Louis said in an email. “I’m more confident than I was coming into this campaign, and knowing that God is leading me is all I need to be confident about. It’ll take care of itself.”

Louis was a standout at Ramapo, where he was a two-time Section 1 champion in the 55- and 110-meter hurdles, as well as the high jump, before his graduation in 2006. He was just as impressive at Temple University.

“(Josue) is everything that the school looks to instill in a student-athlete,” said Dan Zotter, Louis’ track coach at Ramapo. “When he got into Temple, he flourished because of his work ethic.”

Louis needed to score 7,950 total points to earn a spot on the Olympic team, and seemed well on his way. On the first day of the decathlon, he had some of his best performances all season, giving him 4,026 points.

Riding that confidence on day two, he earned 836 points in the 110 hurdles and threw a season-best 38.58 meters in the discus to add more than 700 additional points. But missing the necessary height in the pole vault set him back too far, and he finished qualifying with 6,373 total points.

The time he spent trying to qualify was more of a learning experience than a failed attempt at getting to the Olympics.

by: Chris Iseman


Josue Louis
Josue Louis

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